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Picos – Spanish Bread Sticks

Typically served with tapas or olives and cheese, picos are mini bread sticks that are incredibly irresistible because of their crunchiness and ease…they are in fact way to easy to eat – you’ve been warned! Usually our friends go crazy for them and often can’t quite believe that we homebake them. From my Italian perspective, they are the short and fat cousins of grissini and … Continue reading Picos – Spanish Bread Sticks

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Chocolate Ganache and Mirror Glaze

I almost went and edited the old post Scrumptious Cocoa Cake then I decided to write a new post to update this. We’ve all been in this situation where we follow a recipe, something goes wrong, so we go and try it again so we can feel like we redeemed ourselves.

The recipe in question is Giallo Zafferano’s Scrumptious Cocoa Cake. The first time I made it it was a fail – I blamed it on my mistake to whip the egg whites in a plastic bowl instead of a glass or metal bowl. I thought that alone could have been the reason why the cake was not spongy. This time, after a bit more experience in baking, I not only avoided this mistake, but many others that recipe would have inevitably brought me to make. I got a beautiful rise resulting in a nice and tall cake, but the consistency was still not spongy enough. So do you know what? I’m deleting the recipe of the sponge this time.

If you want a beautiful and moist chocolate cake just follow Handle The Heat’s Best Chocolate Cake recipe – once you try that, I doubt you’re gonna like any other chocolate cake you bake. Thank you Tessa!

Refer to this recipe for a beautiful ganache to use between the layers and a very effective chocolate mirror glaze to decorate it! I sprinkled mine with golden chocolate mini confetti because I love gold and chocolate together and it was a nice touch to add on to the look of the cake. Happy Baking!

Chocolate Ganache and Mirror Glaze Recipe
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Passion Fruit Bomboloni

Call them krapfen, bomboloni or doughnuts,  we all seem to have a fondness to stuff our faces with fried dough bombs, usually stuffed with even more gluttonous ingredients. Krapfen are usually filled with apricot jam, while bomboloni are a lot richer, filled with crème patissiere or even nutella! I was lucky enough to have some fresh passion fruits that I could pick up from the common garden’s harvest, so I decided to come up with a quick curd, which seemed perfect to fill in some doughnuts. I always follow Lilvienna’s krapfen recipe, but I add some lemon and orange zest to intensify the aromas.  Continue reading “Passion Fruit Bomboloni”

Halloween Recipe: Sardinian Dead Bones

In Italy, Halloween is often seen as the American festival that took over our culture, but only a few know that actually our pagan traditions are very similar to this spooky holiday. This Halloween recipe, in dialect called Ossus de Mottu, is representative of what Sardinians called Is Animeddas, a tradition that occurred during the night between All Saint’s and the Day of the Dead. During this night, in the villages of the island, people would keep the house door open, in order to let the souls of the Purgatory come in and help themselves to food and beverages. Also, furniture and drawers would be left open, for the souls to take anything they might need. Spooky uh? Continue reading “Halloween Recipe: Sardinian Dead Bones”

Persian Flatbreads

One of the best memories I have of my travels around Iran is buying bread in the morning, which was our breakfast meal with some fresh cheese and dates. We would get each ingredient from different vendors in the market and eat in one of the amazing squares. In each city we found different styles of bread, but it’s usually flat and cooked in a tandoor oven. Of course, reproducing a tandoor oven at home is not really possible, so the best way you can cook this flatbread is on a hot non-stick frying pan. This simple recipe, taken from the stunning book Saffron Tales, is not only an exotic exploration from the usual ways of making bread, but also a great solution for those midweek evenings when you don’t really have the time to go through the whole bread making process. Makes 16 flat breads, which must be consumed on the spot, so reduce your ingredients if you need less.

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Traditional Italian Jam Tart

Jam tart, in Italian crostata is a very typical home made cake in Italy and because everyone likes it and it requires no special effort, it’s baked at any opportunity. The ultimate classic is made with apricot jam, but its base, called pasta frolla, is the perfect match with any flavour of jam and marmalade. I bake it to say thank you to friends, to bring to a last minute dinner party, or just to use up a jam jar that’s not getting the right attention. Continue reading “Traditional Italian Jam Tart”

Pancake Day Recipe: Zeppole Sarde (Zippuas)

Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, is traditionally the day before the beginning of Lent. During this Catholic holiday lasting forty days, followers of Lent should avoid eating meat and other fatty or sweet foods, which is why Shrove Tuesday is the day they feast and treat themselves to a special meal. You might have guessed that we do not eat pancakes on this special occasion in Italy, as each region makes their own traditional cakes. In Sardinia we have zeppole, in dialect Zippuas, very tasty fritters that look like doughnuts and taste of saffron and orange. Continue reading “Pancake Day Recipe: Zeppole Sarde (Zippuas)”